Thursday, December 20, 2012

National Archives of Australia - CSIRO UAP file - additional pages now available

Hi all,

One of the UAP files which the Disclosure Australia Project (2003-2008) located in the National Archives of Australia (NAA), belonged to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO.) Click here to read about the CSIRO's role.

NAA file series A8520 control symbol HM1/30 was titled "CSIRO - General - UFOs." 90 pages, with a date range of 1957-1968 were made available to the Project at that time.

A recent look at the digital version of this file reveals that someone has paid to have additional pages made available in digital format. There are now 130 pages available for this file, dated up to 1981. However, the new documents are almost exclusively pieces of correspondence between individual members of the public and the CSIRO. The CSIRO's consistent response was that they did not research UAP and referred correspondents to the Department of Air, who held responsibility for investigating reports of UAP.

There are however, a couple of interesting items on the newly available pages:

1. A 20 foot diameter circle of 'scorched' grass was found in March 1969 at Kyogle, New South Wales. A toadstool from within the circle was examined by the Botanic gardens who suggested the ring might be of fungal origin. For further details click here.

2. A CSIRO employee privately examined a photograph taken in October 1972 at Lake Hume and pronounced it a double exposure.

For a lengthy research article on the CSIRO and and its involvement with UAP, by myself, please click here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Australian Government is not "releasing" its UAP files

Hi all,

I would like to correct an impression that I have read about on the net, ( for example click here and here ) that the Australian Government, like some overseas countries, has a deliberate program to "release" its UAP files. This is not true.

Details of Australian Government UAP files which I have been reporting on (for example click here, here and here) have first been located in the National Archives of Australia's (NAA) electronic database RecordSearch. If the file has a status of "open" then anyone can pay their money and have the file digitised and thus it becomes available for anyone to read on the NAA website. If the file has a status of "not yet examined" then anyone can submit a written request to the NAA to have them send that file back to the original government department which created it, with a view to that department examining the file for sensitive material and then agreeing that the NAA can make it available. Once you are notified that the file now has a status of "open" then you can pay your money and have the file digitised and thus made publicly available.

There is no systematic Australian Government program to make these files available to us.

Most of the files which I have been reporting on have been in the archives for many years. The NAA then eventually gets round to recording details of the files on RecordSearch. They do not put out a message that the files are on RecordSearch, you simply in many cases accidently come across them when searching for something else, as happened with the Valentich file I found (click here.) Thus finding Australian Government UAP files is a little like a treasure hunt. The very opposite of the UK experience where the Ministry of Defence deliberately and very publicly made its UAP files available, or the French government's publishing of its UAP files.

Looking through my own blog posts, I realise that I may have contributed to this impression, by talking about "a file was released to me." In future, I will use alternate language to indicate that I have found and had arranged to have a file digitised.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"UFOs Caught on Film" - New book alert - including two Australian photographs

Hi all,


Recently, I came across a new book "UFOs Caught on Film: Amazing Evidence of Alien Visitors to Earth" by Billy J Booth. Published by David and Charles. 2012. ISBN 9-781-446-3016-92. It is part of a series of books, whose titles include "Ghosts Caught on Film;" "The Paranormal Caught on Film" and "Monsters Caught on Film."

On the front cover, the author, Billy Booth, is described as follows "...has been a UFO researcher and writer for over  30 years. He is webmaster of, one of the largest UFO websites, and has appeared on UFO radio and TV shows on the Discovery and History Channel. He has also been the guide at for UFOs.

This 160 page book features dozens of photographs of UAP, and associated text.


The contents of the book are broken down into eras. They start with "Early sightings (1800s to 1940s); through "The Golden Age of Flying Saucers (1950s to 1960s); "Close Encounters and beyond (1970s to 1980s); "The X-Files (1990s); and "Everyone's got a camera (Latest sightings.)"

There are classic photographs such as McMinnville, Oregon, USA (1950); Lubbock, Texas, USA (1951); Salem, Massachusetts, USA (1952); Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA (1965) and Lake Cote, Costa Rico (1971.)

Australian photographs:

The latest sightings section contains 40 photographs, with dates ranging from 2001 to 2011, including from the USA, UK, Europe, Asia and South America. There are two photographs from Australia, namely labelled Palmerston, Queensland (2009) and Sydney-Melbourne Flight (2011.) Given the multitude of photographs in this section, I decided to take a look at the two Australian ones, thinking they should be a representative sample of the whole 40.

Palmerston, Queensland.

"Multiple sightings of 'discs of light' in Australia

2009 - Palmerston, Queensland.

In April 2009 two men from Queensland spotted a mysterious white light as it moved  through the night skies. That same month several other sightings had also been logged, including photograph of two other UFOs from a woman who described them as two 'discs of light' which she accidentally caught on the frame of the picture she took on her mobile phone during a storm.

Her photograph only corroborates the sighting of a UFO by Michael Baker, a resident of Nerang. On the same day he had seen an unknown object in the sky above the shopping centre in Worongary. Yet another report came from Ian Mayes who was walking with his young daughter Chloe along the Peregian Beach when he saw a  'bright white light' in the sky. When asked about the report, an astronomer suggested that the witnesses could have seen a meteor shower. However, all those who saw the lights claimed that the object did not move quickly enough for it to be a sufficient explanation for what was in the sky that night. The two UFOs shown here are very clearly defined and therefore could not have been moving at a high rate of speed and could almost be stationary." (p.136.)

My comments on this photograph:

Looking for more information on this photograph, I first checked the database of UFO Research (Queensland) at their website (click here.) While there are eight reports shown for April 2009, none match those in the account above. I found that Nerang is a suburb of Brisbane; Worongary is a Gold Coast suburb; Peregian Beach is a small seaside town on the Sunshine Coast. Strangely, there was no location named Palmerston.

I then went to the original story at ufocasebook (click here) It turns out the photograph was not taken in Queensland but in the Northern Territory, a different part of Australia.The full text on the ufocasebook site is as follows:

"Palmo UFO is spotted in Qld
May 12th 2009.

Two men on Queensland's Gold and Sunshine Coast have  reported seeing a mysterious white light shooting through the night sky about the same time as a Territory woman claimed to have photographed UFOs near her Palmerston home.

The Territory mother-of-three who wanted only to be known by her first name Kym, photographed two 'discs of light' in the sky as she watched the dark rain clouds roll towards her Palmerston home last month.

Kym said the image was taken on her mobile phone and that she didn't notice the strange lights in the clouds until she downloaded the pictures on to her computer.

The Gold Coast Bulletin has revealed that Nerang resident Michael Baker was standing outside the Worongary shopping centre at sunset on the same day when he saw the strange light travelling from the west about 5.50pm. "We were just taking in the sunset, looking at the clouds and suddenly we saw a big white streak," he said. "As it came down towards the ground, it turned blue and then green as it broke up with a bit of a sizzle and a spark."

About the same time, Ian Mayes was taking his 10 year old daughter Chloe for a walk at Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast when he saw an unusual light. "We just saw this bright white light, like a star, burning for a few seconds and then it fizzled out," he said.

But Springbrook Research Observatory astronomer Andre Clayden said the Queensland sightings were probably a meteor shower.

Kym said she had never had any previous UFO encounters. "I'Ve never really thought about them or had a view on them" she said..."

The source of the information for the ufocasebook story is given as

If you take a look at the photograph itself, as shown on the ufocasebook site you will see it shows two horizontal lines of white light against dark clouds. It should be clearly noted that the witness did not report seeing these two objects in the sky when she took the picture. It is possible she failed to notice them, but more likely, in my opinion, is that the two white lines are due to something like faults in the digital imaging process.

Sydney to Melbourne in-flight photograph:

In "UFOs Caught on Film" there is a photograph and associated text which reads:

"Sydney to Melbourne flight attracts mysterious follower
2011 - Sydney-Melbourne flight.

The report of this UFO sighting and photograph was made public in January 2011. It is one of the rare photographs of an unknown object taken from a commercial plane, snapped while the plane was in flight from Sydney to Melbourne at approximately 8.00pm local time. The passenger was an amateur photographer and had intended to take some photos of the flight using an Olympus Digital camera (Model FE340.X855.C560) as it neared its destination. He was particularly interested in clouds. To accommodate the window shape he placed his camera in a vertical position.

While looking through the viewfinder searching for a good shot his attention was drawn to something in the sky, a ball-shaped metallic sphere. He pressed the picture button and captured the object. Looking for a second shot, he was disappointed to find the object had gone. He does not believe the UFO flew away but simply disappeared. The lack of blur in the image makes the photographer believe that the UFO was pacing the plane and therefore flying at 700-8000kph (450-500mph) at an altitude of about 18,000m (11 miles). The object appears to be a  round object of a metallic material in which the Sun's reflection is caught. It should be extremely difficult to explain the object away as a conventional craft." (p148.)

My comments on this photograph:

Again I went to the ufoccasebook site to check out the original account.

"Passenger Captures UFO on Camera during a Sydney to Melbourne flight
Published 8.44am 2/8/2011
Sydney to Melbourne, Australia - 01-14-11

While on a return flight from Sydney to Melbourne at around 9.00am I decided to take a photo outside of the plane window to capture the clouds.

While placing the camera in a vertical position and looking through the preview screen I noticed a ball shape appear a split second, just before I pressed the camera button and then it disappeared just as quickly. It did not fly away it simply vanished.

There is no motion blur in the photo as the plane was flying around 700-800 kph at an altitude of around 18,000 meters, so I can only assume that the object was following and keeping an exact pace with the aircraft in a "cloaked" state as it simply showed itself just as I was about to press the button.

There is no way I could have just fluked it, it was as if it appeared on queue.

Taken with Olympus Digital camera Model FE340, X855, C560 at 7.52 AM (Uncertain if camera timer was properly set.)"

The source cited is through www. I went to the MUFON website but could not locate the report in the MUFON Case management System. However, there is text and the photograph on the ufocasebook site at click here).

I have a few observations on this photograph which are as follows:

1. The aircraft was said to be flying from Sydney to Melbourne which means the aircraft was travelling basically south-west. At 9am on the day in question the Sun would have been roughly in the north-east. The photograph appears to show the source of illumination on the "UFO" as coming from the left, i.e. roughly north -west, which is not the direction of the Sun at this time.

2. The observer, writing in the first person states that the aircraft was flying at about 18,000 metres. However, an Internet search confirmed my own thoughts that commercial aircraft do not fly at this altitude in Australia. They fly lower.

3. A search of the manufacturer's website for Olympus cameras shows that the Olympus FE-340 is a mid range model, with an 8 mega pixel camera with 5x optical zoom, and a 2.7 inch CCD.

4. The book credits the photograph to someone named "Annelies Middel." Interestingly, an internal search of the ufocasebook site reveals a previous photograph taken by a person of the same unusual name (click here.) This one was taken in Tenerife, Spain on 5 Nov 2010 and the photographer is shown as Annalies Middel. Here however, in my opinion, the "UFO" appears clearly to be a jet aircraft.

5. I located another site by Billy Booth (click here) On this site Billy says he spoke to the Tenerife photographer,  whom he says was female, not male as stated in his book.

6. To me the source of the report (with photograph) is a self submission to MUFON. I cannot find anywhere a detailed investigation report on the event and photo. It therefore appears to me, at this point, that it is simply another of those tantalising photographs which would have benefited from a detailed investigation. I am troubled by the discrepancies I have pointed out above.

In summary:

"UFOs Caught on Film" contains numerous photographs of diverse UAP. However, the reports of the two Australian photographs which I took a look at, contain errors of fact in the text. To me, they are both of very low evidential value, as to be almost worthless as  "Amazing Evidence of Alien Visitors to Earth."

I welcome Blog reader's comments on this post.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cold case - Zanci station - 1 Jun 1970

Hi all,


Readers who have been following my "cold case" series of posts, will know that in Australia, as with elsewhere in the world, the period 1965 to 1970 saw some extraordinary reports of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP.)

I have already posted previously unknown details on the 24 May 1965 Eton Ridge trace case ( click here); the 28 May 1965 Bougainville Reef aircraft encounter (click here); and the 30 Oct 1967 Boyup Brook "car stop (click here.)

RAAF files:

A little known, but very interesting report was made to the RAAF in 1970, where the RAAF's investigatory office wrote:

"If this is not a hoax and the object seen has been described accurately, then despite all efforts no explanation can be offered." (NAA file series A703, control symbol 580/1/1 part 13 p69.)

The report came to the RAAF via the Mildura Police Station. The witness, a Mr Vigar, was known to the reporting police office, Seargent Knowles. The text of the reporting telex included the words "Mr Vigar is considered a very reliable person by Sgt Knowles."

Here then, we have "a very reliable person" reporting an event which even the RAAF considered as an "unknown."  This "unknown"category as an explanation for an event was rarely used by the RAAF.

What was reported?

The following text was part of a telex from the Mildura office of the Department of Civil Aviation, to the COS Support Command (RAAF) dated 3 Jun 1970.

"UFO sighting report.

The following received from Sgt Knowles Mildura police at 030310. Quote Mr Albert Vigar of Zanci station approx 60NM SE Mildura reported sighting UFO between 7.30pm and 8pm last night 2/6/70.

Mr Vigar was spotlight shooting. He saw two small red lights which he thought was reflection from foxes eyes and gave chase. As he got closer to the source of the light he noticed it was a bright diamond object. Bright all over and about as large as a semi-trailer standing on end. It was transmitting a whistling sound.

On getting within 60 yards of the object it rose straight into the air. On reaching approx 100 ft the lights on the object faded but the whistling sound could still be heard.

When the object was first sighted it was 6 to 8 ft off the ground. Mr Vigar revisited this area today, but rain overnight had wasted away all tracks.

Mr Vigar is considered a very reliable person by Sgt Knowles."

Report form:

The witness completed  a standard "Report on Unusual Aerial Sighting" form for the RAAF. Additional details shown on this form are:

The witness was named Albert Arthur Vigar, aged 20, of Zanci Station, New South Wales, via Mildura. He listed his occupation as "station hand." The area of the sighting is described as "plain and sand."

The date of the observation is given as 1 Jun 1970 and not 2 Jun as stated on the telex to the RAAF. To the question on the form of "How accurate is the date?" Vigar responded with "positive."

The time of the observation is shown as "between 7.30 & 8pm." Duration is said to have been approx 15-20 minutes, no short term sighting.

At the time, Vigar was "approx 3 miles from homestead in easterly direction." (Quest 6.)

It was a "Clear night no wind."

To the question "Where was the object first observed?" he wrote "west of north of quest 6" To "angle of elevation?" he wrote "vertical and about 6ft from the ground."

To "what first attracted observer's attention?" " Red light."

To "What was the colour...?" "red at first changed to green and other back to red as I approached the object."

"What was the apparent size at nearest approach?" "30-40ft high."

"Describe any sound heard?" "high pitched whistle which made ears ring for a long time after."

"Where was the object last observed?" "eighty to hundred feet in the air."

"What was the manner of its disappearance?" "straight up. Lights out. Whine continued."


Vigar draw a sketch of the object as seen from close range. It shows a diamond shape, tall and thin, labelled as "between 30-40 ft high." He wrote on the bottom of the sketch "This is as object appeared to me at an approximate distance of between 50 & 60 yards. I got a real good look."

Another sketch shows his position as approx 3 miles to the east of the homestead. He indicates that the compass direction of the object from him was north-north-west and he wrote on the sketch between "my position" and "object" "approx 1 1/2 miles."

Going back to question 8 on the form, I noted he answered "telescopic sight rifle" to the question "Describe any aids/equipment used in the observation." Later he wrote "I know what I saw and it was nothing like I have ever seen before."

RAAF analysis:

The section of the form completed by the RAAF investigating officer showed that there were no military aircraft in the area at the time. A civilian aircraft, a Fokker Friendship was at 16,500ft, speed 300 kts; bearing NW over Ultima and descending, at 0943z (1943 local time.)

The observer's location is shown as approx 33 42S and 143 02E.

The planet Venus was stated to be azimuth 310 degrees (NW) elevation 65 degrees; while the planet Jupiter is shown as 29 degrees elevation and 32 degrees azimuth (NE).

A meteorological balloon is said to have been launched from Mildura at 1100z and the wind profile was:

0900z 010 deg 2kts vis 20 miles 3/8 cloud at 9,000ft temp 11 deg
1000z 020 deg 2kts vis 20 miles 2/8 cloud at 9,000ft temp 12 deg.

Satellite predictaions showed that at 1946 local time Cosmos 1965 73E was at azimuth 207 elevation 74 hdg 127.

To question 20 on the form, "The cause (or likely cause) of the sighting", the RAAF's investigating officer showed "cannot be determined."

The investigating officer also wrote on the form:

"If this is not a hoax and the object seen has been described correctly then despite all efforts no explanation can be offered.

Zanci Homestead and the people living there are well known to the police at Mildura as reasonable and respcted citizens and they know of no reason why Mr Vigar should submit an untrue statement. A copy of the original telex report as received through DCA is attached.

Via discussions with Sgt Knowles of Mildura police, Mr Vigar was in the "Walls of China" area (east of Zanci homestead) at the time of sighting (prominently marked on WAC chart Adelaide 3458.) This particular area has provided a wealth of local legend inspired by previous unexplained sightings. It is thought, however, that the peculiar geological structure of the area has caused the phenomena, but in what respect, has not been adequately explained.

No assessment can be made of the sighting."

The investigating officer's report is dated 15 Jul 1970.


1. Location:

According to my map, Zanci NSW is at latitude 33 42S 143 02E which places it at about 70 kilometres NE of Mildura, not SE as in the DCA telex.)

2. Night sky:

A look at the night sky at the time, as per two different sky chart programs on the net, indicates it was dark at the time. The Sun had set and so had the Moon. The planet Jupiter was located at about 53-58 deg elevation at 26 deg N of E. The planet Venus was very close to the horizon some 30 deg N of W - either just above or just below the horizon depending on the time you choose to put into the program. You will note the differences in data from the RAAF's form.

However, the object was reported as being in the NNW, away from both Jupiter and Venus.

3. Weather:

The witness' weather details of "Clear sky no wind" is reflected in the details obtained by the RAAF.

4. Other details:

a. For some general information on Zanci click here and here

b. For information on the "Walls of China" click here.  For photographs click here.

In summary:

Given the duration of the observation; the estimated closeness of the witness to object; the size described, its shape, and the reliability of the witness, one can only agree with the RAAF's conclusion that this sighting was of an "unknown."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"Insiders" and their knowledge

Hi all,

Some readers of this blog will be aware that I have sometimes been critical of so called "insiders" who provide us with details of their "knowledge" of what the government knows about UAP (see my comments about Ed Mitchell for an example.) It was therefore of special interest to me, when I came across another "insider", when re-reading Leslie Kean's book "UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on The Record" (Published by Harmony Books. New York. 2010. ISBN 978-0-307-71684-2.) (Click here.)

Commander Will Miller: (click here)

Retired from the U.S. Navy, part of Miller's credentials, as cited by Kean, are:

"He later became a senior Department of Defense command center operations action officer, a senior intelligence analyst, and a program manager for DoD future operations programs such as  WWIII planning, non lethal weapons systems and future space systems. He was an advisor to US space command and US Southern Command and its international counter drug operations; Joint Inter agency Task Force east. As an expert in special contingency operations, Miller held  a Top Secret Clearance with Sensitive Compartmental Information (SCI) access..." (p.234.)

Kean mentions that Miller "...had his own sighting from a Naval vessel while serving near Vietnam." (p.234.)

Through the 1980's "I was simply a concerned officer who studied the subject, looked at the facts, and talked to people in the military...People with personal knowledge would seek me out because they knew I had an interest. I've done this for a long time." (p.234.)


In 1994 he retired from the Navy. He "...began taking steps to set up a series of information briefings that culminated in meetings in 1997 with Vice Admiral Thomas R Wilson, vice director for intelligence on the Joint Staff (click here) and in 1998 with Lieutenant General Patrick M Hughes (click here) , director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)..." (pp234-235.)

Kean writes "He explains that he raised two national security concerns at his briefings: the risk of uninformed human aggression towards UFOs, leading to a possible disaster, and the government's disregard for public concern about UFOs and its refusals to provide honest answers to legitimate questions." (p.235.)

According to Kean, "Throughout the years, as he continued to speak with his contacts, he became more and more concerned of the existence of a well-concealed, "need-to-know" UFO program, based on statements that he says confirm this fact, made by military personnel attending his Pentagon briefings and others." (p.236.)

Miller himself, in a 2009 email to Kean writes:

"The 'control group' cannot allow any information on their closely held UFO research to be accessed by anyone outside of those specifically cleared for that Unacknowledged Special Access Program (USAP). Neither Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence nor the director of the DIA himself could get ANY information on the subject; this is a fact." (p.236.)


After typing the above material, I asked myself if we had ever had any Australian "insiders" who claimed that there was an ongoing secret Australian UAP study?

I'll take a moment to think back over the years....No, I cannot think of anyone in the RAAF; CSIRO; DSTO or the intelligence agencies who has come forward making this claim.

On the other hand, an Australian insider named Ken Llewelyn, a RAAF Senior Public Relations Officer, wrote a 1992 book "Flight Into the Ages" about government knowledge (click here.)

Bill Chalker, writing about Llewelyn in the recent book "UFOs and Government" (Swords, Powell et al. Anomalist Books. San Antonio. ISBN 19 33 66 55 80. click here ) says:

" When asked about the perennial charges of cover-ups, he said he had such regular and sufficient contact at high levels in the RAAF to be certain that there was no evidence of hidden cells of high power in the UFO mystery...that as of 1992, the current intelligence head was emphatic that there had been no real interest since 1984..." (p.411.)

Final comment:

Anonymous and named "insiders" abound on the Internet. Their stories initially, may sound credible and amazing. However, deeper checks almost inevitably reveal problems.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Facts matter - the 1954 Goulburn radar/visual event - part two

Hi all,

This post continues my examination of the classic Australian 1954 radar/visual event commonly known as the "Nowra incident." In part one I posted the text of one of the secondary sources of information on the incident. Now let's take a look at some primary source material.

Primary sources:

During the Disclosure Australia Project (2003-2008) I was fortunate to locate two original 1954 files on the incident. These were:

1. National Archives of Australia (NAA) file series MP926/1 control symbol 3079/101/1, titled "Unidentified Objects (Flying Saucers sighted by Navy pilot over Goulburn.)" This file was owned by the Navy Office, Department of Navy.

2. NAA file series SP338/3 control symbol 13/4/10 titled "Unidentified Objects (flying - reports of)."  This file was owned by Flag-Officer-in charge, Eastern Australian region.

On these files, were copies of the original written report on the incident, of both the pilot and the radar operator. The pilot's report, dated 2 Sep 1954, reads:

"I have the honour to submit the following report concerning an incident which occurred on 31st August during a night cross country flight from R.A.N. Air Station, Nowra.

2. The route was Nowra-Young-Temora-Yass-Nowra, and the briefed height 13,000 feet.

3. At 1858 I made the following position report to civil Air radio, Canberra, "Ausnav 921 contact Yass at 13,000 feet estimating Nowra at 1920." This was acknowledged by Canberra, and, when South-West of Goulburn, I changed over to 143.64 m/cs, 723 Squadron exercise frequency, and contacted Nowra.

4. After contacting Nowra at approximately 1910, I noticed a very bright light closing fast from "One o'clock". This bright light crossed ahead of me and continued to a position on my port beam where it appeared to orbit. At the same time I noticed a second and similar light at "Nine o'clock", which made a pass about a mile ahead of me and then turned in the position where the first light was sighted.

5. I contacted Nowra and asked if they had me on radar, hoping they would confirm that other aircraft were in the vicinity. They replied that they had 3 echoes and advised me to turn 180 degrees (Course), to be identified if I required a homing. At this stage the to bright lights reformed at "Nine o'clock", from me and disappeared on a North Easterly heading.

6. I saw no other lights and was only able to make out a vague shape with the white light situated centrally on top. Their apparent crossing speed was the fastest that I have ever experienced, and at the time I was indicating 220 knots."

The radar operator's report:

"At 1907 aircraft 921 called up and asked if we had him on radar. After checking G.C.I. remote display, we found that two paints appeared on the display approximately 280 degrees 32 miles. After about 15 seconds another paint appeared in the same vicinity. One appeared to be tracking towards base, the others in a North Easterly direction.

About two minutes later we told 921 to fly 180 degrees if he wanted a bearing, so we could identify him. His reply was "Negative", so we did not track the paints any further."


A comparison between the original written source material from 1954 and the account given in the 1991 book, reveals the following:

1. Date of the incident:

Book: 15 December 1954.
Files: 31 August 1954.

2. Time of incident:

Book: "...about 8.00 p.m."
Files: "...approximately 1910..."

3. Location of start of incident:

Book: "...somewhere in the Goulburn region..."
Files: South-west of Goulburn.

4. Distinctiveness of objects:

Book: "...their outline quite distinct..."
Files: "...was only able to make out a vague shape..."

5. Did O'Farrell make a 180 degree turn at some point?

Book: "So I turned through 180 degrees..."
Files: The pilot's report states that Nowra suggested a 180 degree turn in order that they could identify one of the paints on the radar as his aircraft. However, his written report does not state that he did in fact make this suggested turn. The radar operator's written report says, in part, "...we told 921 to fly 180 degrees if he wanted a bearing, so we could identify him. His reply was "Negative..." This strongly suggests to me that the pilot was saying that he did not wish to turn 180 degrees to be identified, and did not in fact turn his aircraft.

6. Where there in fact any other aircraft in the vicinity at the time?

Book: "...there were no other aircraft airborne on the east coast. All RAAF aircraft were on the ground and a civil aircraft that had been flying in the region had already landed. I was the only aircraft airborne."

Files: "There were no Naval or Air force aircraft in the area at the time, but there was a T.A.A. Convair at 14,000 feet on a northern course."

7. What was the speed of the Naval aircraft at the time?

Book: "...I was cruising about 330 knots..."
Files: " the time I was indicating 220 knots..."

8. Speed of departure of the objects?

Book: "They took off at two or three times the speed I was doing - probably around 1000 miles per hour."

Files: No estimate of departure speed is mentioned. However, the aircraft was flying at 220 knots, i.e. about 400 kms/hr. Twice this is 800 kms/hr. Three times is 1200 kms/hr. The book mention of 1000 mph, which is 1600 kms/hr and so is a 25-50% over estimate.

In summary:

One can see, that by 1991, some of the finer data points were inaccurately cited, and that some of the information is simply, wrong according to the 1954 documents.

Additional information:

For those readers who wish to do their own calculations, of speeds, distances and timeline I supply the following information:

1. Latitude and longitude of places mentioned in parts one and two of this post.

Nowra (34 53S 150 36E); Young (34 19S 148 18E);Temora (34 27S 147 32 E); Yass (34 51S 148 55E); Marulan (34 43S 150 00E); Sydney (33 53S 151 13E); Goulburn (34 45S 149 43E).

2. Distances between locations.

Nowra to Young (approx. 260kms); Young to Temora (approx. 75kms); Temora to Yass (approx. 135kms); Yass to nowra (approx 160kms).

So, the total flight distance was about 630kms.

3. One knot is a unit of speed used by nautical vessels and aircraft. It is one nautical mile per  hour, i.e. 1.15 miles or 1.85 kms per hour.

4. Locations of the incident:

a. O'Farrell placed the start of the incident as south-west of Goulburn, at about 1910hrs.

b. The radar operator, at 1907hrs, said there were radar paints at about 32 miles (51kms) from Nowra at a bearing of 280 degrees. Assuming that the paint heading towards the base was O'Farrell's aircraft, this places him over Marulan at the time of the radar observation.

Where did O'Farrell learn of the other witnesses?

In an attempt to answer this question, I turned to the work of researcher Bill Chalker. Bill has written about this incident in his 1996 book "The Oz Files"; on various on-line sites and most recently in the 2012 book "UFOs and Government."

In his 1996 book, Bill cites his source of information as a number of interviews with O'Farrell, and states that his book's account specifically comes from an interview with O'Farrell, by himself and Robb Tilley, on 30 March 1993, some 39 years after the event.

Bill reveals that O'Farrell was interviewed in 1973 about the incident, by Prof J Allen Hynek. O'Farrell apparently refreshed his 1954 memories by reading Department of Defence (Joint Intelligence Bureau) files on the incident supplied to him .

It can therefore be said, that perhaps O'Farrell came across the details of the other witnesses, either at the time in 1954 or in 1973. It is not clear from anything which I have looked at, which is the correct answer.

JIB files:

The JIB files on the incident have never surfaced in the hands of civilian UAP researchers. They should make fascinating reading. It is tantilising to hear of the two additional witnesses, but lots of questions spring to my mind.

The radar operator's report, puts the radar paints of aircraft and UAP as over Marulan. It was at the Marulan non-directional beacon, that one of the other witnesses was located. Did the lights seen from there come from O'Farrell's direction? What colour were they? Was there any noise from the lights, perhaps a sonic boom? What formation were they in? Most importantly, as the radar operator also places O'Farrell's aircraft over Marulan did that witness see both two bright lights and an aircraft passing over?

What were the colour of the lights seen from Sydney? How did they disappear from view? how long were they in view?

Additional questions are:

1. Did the JIB locate more than two ground witnesses? After all, the night was said to be clear, and dark. An aircraft flying at night accompanied by two bright lights would seem to be something to note.

2. What happened to the JIB files after 1973? None related to this incident have been located in the National Archives. Readers may recall that I located the one and only JIB UAP file, in the NAA in 2008. Its date range is 1957-1971. It contains no papers relevant to the 1954 Goulburn case.

Possibilities are a) that the 1954 files were destroyed after 1973; b) that they are actually somewhere in the NAA, or c) they are still held by the Department of Defence.

The value of this case:

This case, on the basis of the information contained in the 1954 Navy files, remains an intensely puzzling one.

However, the fuller details, apparently contained on the JIB files, should allow us further insight into the incident, if they could be located.

The key:

The key to further research on this case appears to lie with the possible locating of the missing JIB files.

I am therefore approaching the Department of Defence to see if, after 58 years, they can be located, examined and released.

I will keep you posted on my efforts.

Facts matter - the 1954 Goulburn, radar/visual event - part one

Hi all,


On numerous occasions, I have pointed out the value of going back to original source material, when researching cases. This was again brought back to me the other day, when I was re-examining a classic 1954 Australian radar/visual event, commonly known as the "Nowra incident."

One of the secondary sources which I located was a book titled "Flight Into the Ages: Incredible True Stories of Airmen on the Earth Plane and Beyond," published in 1991 by Felspin Pty Ltd of New South Wales. ISBN 0646074911.

The book's author was Ken Llewelyn, who was a senior Public Relations Officer with the RAAF. I'd like to reproduce some of the text on the case from pages 137-139 of the book, as it is often cited as an authoritative source of information on the Nowra incident.

Flight Into the Ages:

"First, however, consider the experience of a Royal Australian Navy pilot on 15 December 1954.

Lieutenant Shamus O'Farrell was flying a powerful Sea Fury aircraft on a standard night-navigation exercise from his base at Nowra, 160 kilometres south of Sydney, when he experienced an event which confounded experts in the Department of Defence. Shamus had taken off at dusk and been flying for about two hours. His British-built fighter was powered by a massive eighteen cylinder British Centauris radial engine and, apart from the RAAF's recently introduced Meteors, it was the fastest flying machine in the country, with a top speed of 400 knots.

The incident, which happened at about 8.00 p.m., is described in the pilot's own words: "From memory, I was just over 12,000 feet. It was a fine dark night. The stars were all out with no moon, no clouds, no bad weather and good visibility. A pleasant night for night flying.

'I had been airborne for about two hours and I was somewhere in the Goulburn region, near Canberra. When I left Nowra, the radar there was not working, but they were hoping to get it on line by the time I returned. The operators asked me to call so that they could do a check-tune on me as I came in. I was surprised when I saw two aircraft, one on either side of me, each with a single bright light above it, but with no navigation lights. In fact, it was quite a shock because everything was going well. I was keeping a lookout, constantly scanning from one side of the aircraft to the other. They came from astern and I looked out to one side and thought, "Gee, what is that?" I continued to look around and there, on the other side, was another one. And then I thought about it for some time to make sure I wasn't seeing things that weren't there. But sure enough, I could see two dark, cigar-shaped objects - not very long, about the size of a Dakota - but their central bright lights made their outline quite distinct. I could see no other details, no other lights - just one bright light centrally placed over the top of each mass.

"I became concerned at the presence of these objects and began to think about the situation again: "If I say too much they will think I am seeing objects that aren't there, and they will get worried; the best thing to do is to say nothing and just call up Nowra." I asked them, "Do you have me on radar?" Back came Petty Officer Jessop's reply, "Yes we have an aircraft coming in from the west - in  fact we have got three. Which one are you?" And I replied, "I am the one in the centre." And then he said, "Fly a one-eighty for identification."

So I turned through 180 degrees. "Yes, I have got you turning in the centre," he said. I finally finished with a 360 degree turn because I lagged behind the other two aircraft, who had continued to move ahead. Then, when I came back up, they settled back into formation with me.

"I still believed they could be aircraft without their lights on I was expecting to see a red or green light or flashing lights, but each had a steady light. I tried to visualize other unusual combinations of lights which may have created the effect - even landing lights on the underside of an aircraft. But the lights were above the aircraft, or whatever they were.

"Nowra was worried after I called because they had started checking and found out that there were no other aircraft airborne on the east coast. All RAAF aircraft were on the ground and a civil aircraft that had been flying in the region had already landed. I was the only aircraft airborne.

"Then I started to think, "Well, who the hell are they? because I was cruising about 330 knots and, apart from the RAAF's Meteors, I knew everyone else would have trouble staying with me. They were in sight for about ten minutes - at all times in immaculate formation. Then, suddenly they left me and headed off to the north-east, going very fast. I was about to press the transmit button when Nowra radar contacted me and said, "Those other two contacts are leaving the screen fast to the north-east." I said, "Roger" and felt very relieved that they had gone.

"I later learned that they had headed over Marulan navigation beacon, where they happened to be an officer from the Department of Aviation carrying out repairs to the beacon. He  looked up and noted the time when the two fast lights had flashed past. He noted the occurrence in a book. A short time later, and air traffic controller in the tower at Sydney's Mascot Airport, which was pretty quiet in those days, saw two lights coming over very rapidly from the south-west. He, too, logged the time in a book. Later the RAAF plotted out a straight line from where I was and then worked back from Sydney and the beacon. By checking my position on the navigation chart, they calculated that we had all sighted the same lights. The RAAF said the speed was extremely fast, and I know it was because they left me standing. They took off at two or three times the speed I was doing - probably around 1000 miles per hour.

When Lieutenant O'Farrell landed, he was surprised to see a big welcoming committee. He was met by Nowra's medical officer, who gave him an examination and asked if he felt all right. His pattern of drinking came under scrutiny, and his cabin (naval term for room) was searched and his Wardroom (Officer's Mess) bar figures were also checked for signs of excessive consumption. However, Shamus drank very little in those days. The twenty-five year old pilot became a minor celebrity and was questioned on a number of occasions by RAAF intelligence officers to try to find out exactly what he saw on the night of 15 December.

Shamus O'Farrell became one of the Navy's most experienced fighter pilots and amassed more than 4500 hours flying time before retiring with the rank of Commodore after his posting to Washington as a naval attache."

To be continued.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"Weird astronomy" and UAP

Hi all,

I only recently caught up with David A Seargent's book, "Weird Astronomy: Tales of Unusual, Bizarre and Other Hard to Explain Observations," published in 2011 by Springer, New York. ISBN 978-1-4419-6423-6. As I usually do when I read any book, I check the index (if there is one) for any reference to UAP. Interestingly, for a book on astronomy, I found the following:

1. The O'Neill 'Moonbridge.'

In 1953, the science editor of the New York Tribune reported seeing, a lunar feature, which he thought was a several kilometre long 'natural rock bridge.' It appears the correct interpretation of the feature, is that it is an 'illusion' due to light and shadow. Seargent writes, "There is no Moonbridge. Unfortunately though, that has not stopped the subject  from having become absorbed into UFO literature of the more crackpot variety...sensationalist writers tried to turn the bridge into proof of intelligent life..." (p.22.) For more on this, click here.

2. Nebulous meteors.

One rare, but accepted, category of meteors, is a 'nebulous' one. They are second to third magnitude in brightness, and " as a fuzzy ball about half the size of the full Moon." (p.148.) They move across the sky, and last, about the same as an ordinary meteor. "Presumably these strange meteors are caused by extremely friable objects that dissolve into clouds of smoke-like particles upon entering Earth's atmosphere." (p.149.)

Seargent ponders the question asked by West Australian Jeff Wood, "...what a nebulous fireball would really look like." If there were such a thing . Would it be reported as a UAP? "Wood thinks so and suggests that meteor observers should pay attention to those UFO reports involving cigar-shaped objects cruising across the night sky." (p.150.) For more on unusual meteors of all kinds, click here.

3. Sternschwanken

In 1799 polymath, Alexander Von Humboldt, noticed "...that some of the stars appeared to be performing oscillatory movements that he called sternschwanken . Later, in 1887 the term became autokinesis." It is believed to be due to the brain incorrectly interpreting either eye movements, or correcting movement of muscle fatigued eyes.

Whatever the cause, people report that lights, e.g. stars, jump around when in fact they are stationary. Seargent writes: "The apparent movement of a star or planet as seen by an observer on the ground  can be startling and may even trigger a UFO report..." (p.197.) For an example of autokinesis and UAP click here.

4. Daytime observing.

Naked eye observers can, beside the Sun and Moon, see up to two planets and two stars in the day time sky. The planets Venus and Jupiter, and stars Sirius and Canopus.

Seargent cites the instance of "...a major UFO a regional city in New South Wales" (p.277), which was eventually shown to have been the planet Venus.

I found this a fascinating read, with much interesting astronomical information. Autokinesis features in numerous raw UAP reports which I have looked into over the years. If you haven't yet read this book, I would strongly recommend that you do.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New book alert - Clarke - The UFO Files 2nd ed.

Hi all,

United Kingdom (UK)  researcher David Clarke's 2009 book (click here), "The UFO Files: The Inside Story of Real Life Sightings" has been updated and republished in 2012. (2nd ed. Bloomsbury. London. ISBN 978-1-4081-6489-1.) The book examines UK related material as found in The National Archives in the UK (click here.)

The new edition:

The original edition has been revised, with new sections of text, based on the further release of UK government files between 2009 and 2012; and additional research which Clarke has been able to undertake after examining new material. This has resulted in an increase in the number of pages in the book, from 160 to 208.

While the structure of the updated version follows the original work, there is a completely new chapter titled "Closing the UFO files." here we learn of:

* The truth behind the newspaper headline "24,000 mph UFO buzzes Britain"

* The details of the investigations into the 1996 Lincolnshire "...highly evidential radar/visual UFO 'flap' lurking in the MOD's records. This complex incident would become the last to be subjected to a detailed military investigation." (p.159.)

* The account of "Easily the weirdest report to emerge from the UFO files released by the National Archives in 2009..." (p.182.)

* The internal workload of the MOD's "UFO desk"

* "One of the most impressive UFO sightings in the first decade of the new century..." (p.166)

* The reaction of the MOD to the UK's Freedom of Information Act

* The end of official UK interest in UFOs?


Even though I had a copy of the first edition of this book, when I perused the new edition, I found sufficient new information to make me decide to purchase the second edition.

I'm glad that I did, as the insightful analysis of the UK MOD's actions; together with the range of sightings presented, was well worth it.

This book makes a great companion to the recently published book "UFOs and Government" (click here for my take on this book.)

For anyone who has been following the unfolding saga of the uncovering of the extent of the Australian government's UAP files, the parallel unveiling of the UK's story makes fascinating reading.

After reading this book, a question arose in my mind. If the Australian, UK, New Zealand and the US government's official line is that UAP do not represent a threat to national security, and their official programs have closed down, is anyone in these governments continuing to monitor UAP? (Click here for an excellent post on this area by Pauline Wilson.) My answer, is that you can bet that someone, somewhere in these governments is still keeping an eye on the subject. What do readers think?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Contactee Valerie Ransone - the final post

Hi all,

I previously posted details about a fascinating 1970's contactee named Valerie Ransone (click here and here.) Ransone disappeared from the scene in the early 1980's. Recently I located an individual who appears to be Ransone.

Details given on a Facebook page, which is in a different name, not that of Valerie Ransone, agree with those provided by Jacques Vallee in a diary entry on Ransone, in his book "Forbidden Science-Volume Two." This Facebook page led me to further Internet sources.

Ransone created a Foundation in 1982, which still exists. Part of the Foundation's Mission Statement, shows that Ransone continues to pursue contact with what she calls the "Universal Intelligence."

As late as November 2011 Ransone was still interested in the inventions and work of a famous twentieth century inventor. In the late 1970's Ransone formed a company with former NASA astronaut Gordon Cooper, using some of that inventors ideas, according to Bruce Henderson, co-author of Cooper's book "Leap of Faith."

I emailed Ransone, providing links to my two previous posts about her, and asked if she would be willing to share details of what she had been doing since the early 80's. Two weeks later, I have not received a response. I take this to mean that Ransone does not wish to provide us with such details. This is a pity, as whatever you think about the contactee movement, it has been a part of the living history of the UAP phenomenon.

I am therefore closing my research into this fascinating individual. Unless she decides to tell the second part of her story, the full extent of her journey will remain unknown.

2016 update

Monday, October 29, 2012

An Australian contactee - Peter Maxwell Slattery

Hi all,

I'd like to start off this post by thanking my co-blogger, Pauline Wilson, for all the hard work she has put into making this a successful blog. I will miss her insightful comments, as well as the expressive ways that she reported on the mundane topic of Adelaide's weather.

In my own blog posts I have focused mainly on a number of specific projects. These have included researching material from the National Archives of Australia; cold cases; and from time to time such areas as contactees. In Pauline's absence, and due to reader feedback which has shown other areas are of interest to you, I will also be reporting on new books and items from a variety of magazines and journals. Pauline's vision for the blog was that it would not simply copy items from elsewhere, but wander over topics that took her interest, stopping here and there to explore, think, and comment. I like that philosophy and intend to follow it in my future posts.

Now to today's topic which is an Australian "contactee" named Peter Maxwell Slattery.

Australian Peter Maxwell Slattery has recently published two books titled "My Awakening" Parts 1 and 2.

Part 1:

"My Awakening is an account of my own paranormal and UFO experiences over the time since I was 12. In this book I document the time line of my experiences from witnessing apparitions, to seeing alien space crafts which are also known as UFOs. Come and join me on my journey into the unknown and my life changing ride, which has shaped and moulded the person I am today. Skeptic or not, my story with photographic evidence to some of my experiences will make you think. Also some names have been withheld and altered to protect their identities. So in saying that, sit back, relax and have an open mind. This is my personal UFO story."

Part 2:

"The story continues in "My Awakening Part 2" of my paranormal experiences with other worldly beings. In this book I document the time line of my experiences from seeing alien space craft which are also known as UFOs, to messages from a 5th dimensional being. This story when put together with other legitimate UFO and paranormal cases makes for the most important story ever told to mankind. So come and join me on my journey into the unknown and my life changing ride, which has shaped and moulded the person I am today. Skeptic or not, my story with photographic evidence to some of my experiences, will make you think. So in saying that, sit back, relax and have an open mind. This is my story, part 1."

A third book:

The website also reveals that there is a third book, written by Peter, and  titled "The History of Man: An Alien civilisation." " This book is about man's connection to the stars, how our existence came about and how knowledge was seeded on earth in man with an alien connection. In this book you will read what has been found during investigations of all types that point to man being in contact with aliens for thousands of years. It is now estimated that between 200 and 400 billion planets exist just in our galaxy alone. So to think we are alone would be so delusional."

Further information:

The website contains other information which expands on Peter and his thoughts:

* Peter was born in 1983
* He started having experiences in 1995
* He currently lives in Albury, New South Wales, Australia
* At age 18, near prime he saw a big light the size of a small aircraft, "flying uncontrollably over Glenroy"
* He founded the group "Investigators For The Truth"
* In November 2010 he "captured video footage of a UFO over Nail Can Hill in Albury three times in the past month"
* He took a photograph at Beechworth which shows the ghost of a young girl outside the old jail
* He investigated reports of a "shadow man" walking in and  out of the main entrance to the Yackandandah cemetery
* At Albury TAFE he saw a "ghost believed to be of a person who slipped and died on a staircase."

Shi-Ji from Merope:

On one page of the website titled "Pete's Story" we learn:

"Since 1995 Peter Maxwell Slattery has witnessed many UFOs and shadow men (which are also known as ghosts). he has also had encounters with the Greys, light blue light beings (which are a race of beings named "Elohim") and a 5th dimensional ethereal being called Shi-Ji, from the star Merope in the Pleiades.

Pete says that Shi-Ji is helping him raise his vibration frequency and that she is also awakening him to who he really is. He has been told by Shi-Ji, that he and others, all around the world, are to help raise the vibrational frequency of others and to help educate people in the E.T. reality and the spirit realm. Doing this he is told, will help awaken people for the coming spiritual and earth changes that have already started to take place.

Also he has had an insight into how God, Angels, Ghosts, UFOs, Science and all religions and the universe are all connected."


1. Peter's website may be found here
2. Further information about Peter and his expereinces may be found here


Sunday, October 28, 2012


Dear readers,

I started up this blog over three years ago, as a way to communicate the findings of my examination of the UFO phenomenon.

During this time, the blog has been a tool to examine the subject of exopolitics; the role of aviation companies; the role of intelligence agencies; take a look at both old and new books, and much more.

In my writing, I have tried to stimulate my blog readers to think about possibilities, as well as to speculate on the origins of the UFO phenomenon.

My co-blogger, Keith Basterfield, came on board two years ago, bringing his own perspective. Keith has taken a fresh look at old Australian UFO cases, as well as reporting on his continuing search for UFO files within the National Archives of Australia. His persistent searching has led to such discoveries as the Valentich file.

However, with this post, I am going to bid you, dear readers, farewell. A recent job offer, and a change of circumstances in my personal life, means it is time to review priorities. For the present, I have decided this means ceasing my contributions to this blog. I am going to leave you in Keith's capable hands.

Thank you for all your comments about blog posts I have written, and please continue to enjoy this blog.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Recent FOI request to Australian government agencies - Air Services Australia

Hi all,


I am not aware of any researcher who has recently submitted a Freedom of Information request to any Australian government agency, seeking documents related to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP.) I therefore decided to submit a few requests myself. The first one was to Air Services Australia.

Who is Air Services Australia?

In Australia, up until 1995 responsibility for air safety lay with the federal government Department of Civil Aviation. In July 1995, that department was abolished and replaced with two separate government bodies, namely Air Services Australia and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

According to its website (click here) Air services Australia "Is a government owned corporation providing safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible services to the aviation industry." It has responsibility for:

* Airspace management
* Aeronautics information
* Aviation communication
* Radio navigation aides
* Aviation rescue and fire fighting services.

My request:

I sought access, under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 1982, to "any documents held by Air Services Australia, on the subject of "unidentified flying objects."" I would have preferred the term "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP.) " However, common usage is for the term UFO and I decided this was the most appropriate terminology for this FOI request.

The response:
The request produced a number of documents, which I will describe below.

1. Media query:

Tim Vollmer, the night Chief of Staff for the "Daily Telegraph" newspaper, emailed the media area of Air Services Australia on 30 may 2012. "As discussed the following image was taken just before 5pm on Monday at Sylvania Waters. They were facing approximately west. The photographer said there were about five witnesses. They stepped out of the boat and the UFOs were still there. He  said they were stationary for about 10-15 minutes before simply disappearing.

The Senior Advisor Communication and media emailed back on 30 may 2012. "Thanks for your email. There were no reports of unusual aircraft activity in the area, however, at just before 5pm on Monday, there were a number of commercial aircraft operating (one flying into Sydney, another through to Newcastle.)

Aircraft movements can also be viewed on our Webtrak system at"

2. IFTT Australia:

There was a series of emails between P. M. Slattery of "Investigators For the Truth", a paranormal UFO Society." The first, dated 30 Mar 2012 asked the Media section "Just wondering if you know of any flights at around 8.05pm coming in from the east into Albury, NSW last night at around a 1000 feet as I got multiple calls about a UFO flying in that area for about 5 minutes last night..."

Air Services Australia responded  "There are two regularly scheduled passenger flights into Albury which arrive from that direction at about that time every night (generally between 8 and 8.30pm. With their landing lights on from around 30nm (55km) from the airport, on a clear night they would be visible for up to 10 mins on approach before landing."

3. IFTT Australia:

Email dated 30 Jul 2012. "I was hoping if there was any radar of unusual activity over the north east of Melbourne over the Hume Highway at approx 11.58pm on the 29th of July 2011..."

Email dated 31 Jul 2011. "On the 29th at 6.30pm was there any airplane flying over east of Point Cook Melbourne and also does any aircraft have 6 red lights flashing at independent times on one side. We have video and any info would..."

On 1 Aug 2011 Air Services of Australia replied " Sorry, having re-read your emails, I realised I confused your two inquiries. Our Webtrak system shows that at 6.30pm on 29 July a Cathay Pacific aircraft flew over the Altona area on approach to Melbourne airport. On 29 July at approximately 11.58pm Webtrak does not show any aircraft movement directly over the Hume Hwy, although aircraft can be seen arriving and departing from the airport."

4. "Manly Daily" newspaper;

A series of emails dated 20 Sep 2011 to 21 Sep 2011 concerning "a photo of alleged UFO." The first email is from Carleen Frost, Cumberland newspapers to Air Services Australia. "The person who took this photo says there were originally two of them but the second one flew behind the cloud. He said they were moving left to right across the sky in an irregular motion. The photo was taken at 6am on Sunday morning at Dee Why."

Air Services Australia responded "Not a UFO, unfortunately. This has been quite a common sight in skies over Sydney in recent weeks due to atmospheric conditions and we have had a  number of similar reports. It is the condensation trail of a high altitude aircraft highlighted by the rising Sun...If you enlarge the photograph and zoom in you can see the aircraft at the head of the condensation trail..."

5. Event from 2004:

This is by far the most interesting of the documents I received and is "Event report 200402393."

"District: Regional Services
Unit: Desert
Time (UTC) 2004 12 07 23:50
Status: Closed

Event description:

At time 2350 at position 190 SE APOMA, QFA790 F380 reports a WX balloon.

At time 2356 position 32 30 06 S 145 26 54 E QFA702 F400 reports unidentified object crossing west to east, reports too large to be WX balloon and speed not consistent with winds. Pilot estimates a speed of the  object to be 150-200kts. Pilot reports a WX radar return and a non-specific visual contact but no TCAS return.

Other aircraft in the vicinity QFA589 F380 and VOZ753 F370 report nothing.


Specific problem: Unidentified object.


Aircraft callsign: NA
Aircraft registration: NA
Aircraft type: NA

Event response:

From verbal notification from Ops Manager.

Executive summary:

Weather balloon/unidentified aircraft report in CBA area.

From replay of audio and Eurocat only.

General information. GRIB winds in area generally 350 degrees average 55kts over vertical cross section. met balloon launched from CBA approximately 2330.

Incident specifics:

QFA790 report of Weather balloon ('a couple of thousand feet below us') was made abeam CBA (aircraft approx  10NM south of CBA, however report did not identify bearing/distance of this balloon) at 2348:40 UTC.

QFA702 reported on frequency shortly after (may or may not have heard the initial report from QFA790.)

At 2352 controller advises QFA589 and VOZ753 of weather balloon report made by QFA790. Subsequently advises QFA402 (intended QFA702) for information that  there may be a weather balloon in the VIMAB area. No immediate response. Controller asks QFA702 to confirm that they copied the message, QFA702 advises copied and contact on (weather?) radar.

At 2356:20 QFA702 reports that the "so called weather balloon" has crossed that aircraft's path but that it does not appear to be a balloon. At this stage QFA702 is approximately 80nm south of ( and tracking towards) CBA - the relative position of these aircraft suggest it is unlikely that this is the same object as reported earlier by QFA790.

QFA702 description and updates regarding contact, position, time and speed of object is consistent with that of VOZ753 (YPAB-YBBN.) As VOZ753 was  at FL370, it is likely that QFA702 TCAS did not display the target (TCAS parameters approx 2700ft?). It appears likely from review of audio and Eurocat that QFA702 acquired VOZ753 on weather radar and subsequently visually tracked this aircraft."


Waypoint APOMA is at latitude 29 53 53S and longitude 142 40 54E

TCAS is short for traffic alert and collision avoidance system.

YBBN is Brisbane. I couldn't find an airport with the code YPAB.

Eurocat is a computerised air traffic control and management solution.

Comments are welcomed from Blog readers about any of these documents.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Salisbury and the "cover-up"

Dear readers,

I am returning to the question of, is there an "official cover-up" of the UFO phenomenon? I discussed this in an earlier post (click here.) My re-examination was triggered by my recent reading of Frank Salisbury's "The Utah UFO Display." As a researcher of longstanding, who has recently returned to this field, I wondered what his views were on this question?

In his updated book he poses the question "Is the government really in possession of all the answers? I spent over thirty years in contact with NASA personnel, including serving on three or four NASA advisory panels, and I also had close contact with those studying Mars at NASA Ames. I could never see evidence of conspiracy. At one point I asked if  NASA might fund a UFO project if I could submit a good proposal. They said they might, but I never prepared such a proposal." (p.113.)

Later, Salisbury writes "A small part of my conversion to the government-knows-all hypothesis came in a late phone-call just as I returned from the MUFON symposium in August 2009. The call was from Jean Livingston Kamal, who had worked with me in the early 1960's. She told me about her life during the 1950's before she came to work with me. Her husband was an Air Force intelligence officer, first assigned to the Holloman, New Mexico, base. He was sworn to secrecy and never confided to her what he was doing, but as time passed, he became more and more stressed, apparently by his work. He began to drink heavily, and he had a nervous breakdown. At one point, after collapsing from too much alcohol, he muttered to Jean that "UFOs are real!" The stresses led to the breakup of their marriage. Was he working on UFOs at a highly secret level - deeper than Project Sign,  Grudge or Blue Book? One evidence in favour of that idea is that he often travelled to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, which, it is now known, has been the central location for Air Force studies of UFOs." (p.148.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Frank B Salisbury's views

Dear readers,

A day off work recently allowed me to read an updated version of a classic UFO book.


Frank Salisbury earned bachelor's and master's degrees in botany and biochemistry at the University of Utah. In 1955 he obtained his PhD at the California Institute of Technology. He spent time at Colorado State University; and Utah State University, including being department head of the Plant Science Department. Author, or co-author of sixteen books, he has worked on numerous projects. He retired in 1997.

One of the books which he wrote, in 1974, was titled "The Utah UFO Display." It told the story of a series of UFO sightings, in the Uintah Basin, in eastern Utah in the USA, from a scientific perspective. These sightings took place in the date range 1966-1968. At that time he was "...favourable to the possibility of extraterrestrial visitations." (p.14.)

However, by 1970 he writes " became more and more difficult for me to be truly scientific (i.e. objective) about UFOs." (p.15.) About 1980, he retired from UFO research. It wasn't until 2010 that he re-entered the field with an update to "The Utah UFO Display." It was published by Bonneville Books, Springvale, Utah. ISBN 978-1-59955-405-1. This post is not a review of the book, and not a look at the Unitah Basin sightings in detail.

This post:

This post is an examination of Salisbury's views on the cause of the UFO phenomenon, and how his current views have been arrived at.

In 1968 he explored details of dozens, of a variety of types of UFO sightings, many gathered by a junior high school teacher named Joseph Junior Hicks. His research included personally interviewing people who had reported sightings. Following this research "In 1974, I could not think of any reasonable explanation to account for the objects sighted in the Uintah Basin, except for extraterrestrial machines..." (p.82.)


Salisbury re-contacted Junior in 2009 and spent some time interviewing individuals, and collecting data about sightings between 1966 and 2009. He also spent some time looking into the "Skinwalker Ranch," and personally checking details contained in the book "The Hunt for the Skinwalker," written by Colm Kelleher and George Knapp. 2005. Paraview Pocket Books. New York.

Salisbury's review of Skinwalker:

Besides a series of "Deseret News" articles by Zack Van Eyck; Salisbury contacted Garth Myers, brother of Kenneth Myers who lived on the ranch for almost sixty years; had discussions with "Tom Gorman (pseudonym for the main witness), and checked accounts from Junior Hicks and some neighbours to the ranch.

What did Salisbury conclude after his research on the ranch and the unusual reports?

* He reports that "Junior Hicks has been visiting the ranch virtually from the time the witness family bought it, and he is thus able to confirm that he heard most of the accounts shortly after the events happened." (p.217.)

* Garth Myers - "...I can tell you unequivocally that up to 1992 there had never been and there never was any sign of that (UFOs and similar activity)" (p.218.) Gorman moved into the ranch in 1994.

* "...the skinwalker version of the ranch's history is badly distorted..." (p.222.)

* The Skinwalker statement that "...the greatest concentration of high strangeness has always taken place at what became the Gorman's 480 acre ranch" is not correct

* "...I assumed that Knapp had many in-depth interviews with the witness while writing the book...the witness didn't even know the book was being written about his family's experiences until skinwalker was published. And he had never met George Knapp...How's that for careful research!" (p.224.)

* "...the witness...said that many things in their book only resembled a true accounting of his experiences." (p.224.)

* "...I want to emphasis that much of Hunt for the Skinwalker is excellent.." (p.242.)

What are Salisbury's current views on UFOs?

Based on his research into the UFO sightings in the 1960's, 1970's, then from 2009; and his acceptance that there were some very unusual events at the Skinwalker ranch (despite some issues with the Skinwalker book), what are Salisbury's views today on the UFO phenomenon?

* "...the UFOs in the Uintah Basin wanted to be seen. They performed for their witnesses. They put on a display." (p.251.)

* "When we examine UFO accounts, however, we encounter events that just don't seem to fit within our understanding of natural laws." (p.253.)

* " I am very uncomfortable with the nuts-and-bolts hypothesis." (p.247.)

* "My long-held, totally unscientific gut feeling is that the intelligence behind the UFO enigma is on display; it wants to be seen by many people - who will only be believed by a few others. It wants to influence the thinking of many of us, but it wants no formal contacts nor tangible proof that would convince the skeptics. And its intelligence is great enough that it can control the situation so that we know only what it wants us to know." (p.232.)

* Speaking of Kelleher and Knapp's work in the "Hunt for the Skinwalker" Salisbury writes "They clearly lean toward the multi-dimension, parallel universe, wormhole/portal idea. And at this point, so do I..." (p.242.)


Three hypotheses are presented as potential explanations for the UFO phenomenon:

1. "the Debunker Hypothesis." The phenomenon can be explained in mundane terms. "But most of us closer to the UFO field can't accept this hypothesis." (p.246.)

2. "the Nuts-and Bolts hypothesis." The ETH. "...this is the idea that comes to the public mind when UFOs are mentioned." (p.247.) Two arguments against it are a. physical laws against interstellar travel and b. "The UFOs don't act like space explorers who have found a new world." (p.247.)

3. "the Star Gate Hypothesis." They come from a parallel universe or another dimension. From earlier comments, this is the one which Salisbury currently supports. "If there are portals or wormholes between alternate realities, all consistent with laws that we simply don't yet understand, it would explain many of the outlandish goings-on hat so many have witnesses. This is the conclusion of Kelleher and Knapp in Skinwalker. It is presently my conclusion..." (p.253-254.)


I really enjoyed reading this book and thinking about the ideas which it discusses. Salisbury appears an open minded scientist, following the evidence which he comes across. I also found his review of the Skinwalker saga of great interest. If you haven't yet read this 2010 book because you thought it was only a reprint of the 1974 book, then I would recommend you do so. There is much here to generate thought and debate.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New book alert - "Lightquest" - Andrew Collins

Dear readers,

"Lightquest" is the title of a new book by English researcher Andrew Collins (click here). The book is subtitled "Your Guide to Seeing and Interacting with UFOs, mystery lights and Plasma Intelligences." No details of publisher or an ISBN is given on the author's website, suggesting the book is self-published.

According to his website, the book is "A new way to embrace the UFO phenomenon. Lightquest is a new concept in seeing and investigating the UFO phenomenon. It sees the phenomena observed as the product of sentient light forms and light intelligences that have co-existed with humanity since time immemorial. It reveals what they are, how to see them, where to see them and what to do if you do see them. It acts also as a field guide to some of Britain and the United States' top UFO hot spots."

Have any readers read the book? Would you care to share your thoughts on it?

"The sky is alive"

Dear readers,

The UFO phenomenon generates a large number of ideas as to the origin, or causes, of the phenomenon. The September 2012 issue (FT291 pp 30-34) of the English "Fortean Times" magazine poses the question "...are many UFOs actually atmospheric creatures?" The article is written by Scott Deschaine who is listed as "...head of Customic Comic Services and Discovery Comics..."

The hypothesis:

Deschaine asks "...what if a wide range of creatures moves through the sky for part of their lives?" (p.30.)

The evidence:

The author lists a number of observations to support his hypothesis. Among them are:

1. "In 1988, a young astronomy buff saw a weird object pulsing through the London sky. She alerted police, who also saw the flying object and described it as a "jellyfish." (p.30. Source cited as Graham and Mark Birdsall: "A British Perspective 1988," The UFO Report" ed Timothy Good. Avon Books. New York. 1989 p.8.)

2. Ilinois. 1963. Glowing object seen for about an hour. (Source cited as Francis Ridge: "The Wayne City car Chase" (CEII-E-M), National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phernomena. 5 Aug 2011.

3. 1891. Indiana. "...a bellowing, pulsing, wheezing monster in the sky above their town. Its glowing red "eye" floated, as it seemed to struggle. All who watched it felt it was alive." (Source cited as Gaddis, V H. "Mysterious Fires and Lights." David McKay Company Inc. NY. 1967. pp32-33.)


Deschaine lists "ten parallels between UFOs and marine invertebrates." These include:

* UFOs are often described as shaped like saucers and rockets or cigars. "Saucer-shaped jellyfish and rocket shaped squid area some of the most successful marine invertebrates." (p.32.)

* "Many UFO witnesses report translucent or fuzzy edges around a saucer shape. Marine invertebrates are composed mainly of the medium in which they live. Perhaps aerial inverterbrates are mainly gas and water vapour." (p.32.)

* "Many descend in a 'falling leaf' motion typical of jellyfish." (p.32.)

Th author draws comparisons between people's reactions to a "...range of symptoms when exposed to inverterbrate toxins" (p.38.) and those described by UFO witnesses - including eye irritation; reddening and swelling of skin, and paralysis.


Forteans have long recorded falls of "Organic gelatinous material" from the skies, suggesting supportive evidence to the author.


"The atmosphere is an incredibly varied habitat. Evidence of aerial life seems to be found in likely resource-rich habitats in the sky, at almost every level." (p.33.)

Friday, October 12, 2012

"After Disclosure" - new book alert - Dolan and Zabel

Dear readers,

South Australia, where I live, recently experienced a very unusual weather event - it snowed in October! At latitude 35 deg south, it very rarely snows at all, let alone in October - our spring. The snowfall was the talk of the city, featuring on hourly news broadcasts. It was certainly, an unexpected event. The fact of an  unusual occurrence ties in nicely with the subject of a 2012 published book, which I have just read.

"A.D. After Disclosure" is authored by Richard M Dolan, UFO historian (click here) , and Bruce Zabel, a TV writer. It was published by New Page Books of Pompton Plains, NJ, USA. The ISBN is 978-1-60163-222-7. The subtitle is "When the Government Finally Reveals the Truth About Alien Contact."

The book:

After a Foreword by Jim Marrs (click here) and a Preface by Stephen Bassett (click here) the introduction informs us of the book's premise. Firstly, it tells us that it is not a book debating whether or not UFOs are real. It says that "The evidence that something strange has been happening is voluminous and convincing." (p.17.) "Most people...have settled on one conclusion: some UFOs appear to be intelligently controlled physical craft of some kind from some place that is not here." (pp17-18.) This book is different from other UFO books because "Accepting that as our starting point makes our book different." (p.18.)

The authors do add a rider "Although the nature of this book is speculative we have worked hard to keep such speculation informed and supported by solid research." (p.21.)

The work starts with an imagined announcement by the  president of the United States that non-human species are visiting Earth. This announcement follows "...recently highly visible sightings of UFOs, including a mass sighting that had been well-documented." (p.25.) The authors use the scenario in an illustrative way, admiting that such an announcement might come from other than the US president, and might be triggered by other than a mass sighting.

The authors decide on their own terminology. The aliens become the "Others"; the people keeping the UFO secret from us become "The Breakaway Group;" and whatever causes Disclosure to occur becomes the "Trigger Event."  The authors propose that "Only something unexpected and overwhelming will force the secret-keepers to make some sort of public acknowledgement." (p.32.) They discuss types of Disclosure and their opinions on what would happen following such an announcement.

Chapter 2:

Here the authors start to build up the case for such a secret group. Witnesses to events are theatened; the creation of MJ-12; management of the press; people being ridiculed; and the subject denied by authorities. In addition the use of the Condon Committee is detailed. By 1986, the authors state, "...the concealment of this explosive information had moved beyond the US government structure." (p.66.)

Despite the release of UFO data by numerous countries over the years, the authors contend that "So, yes, there have been "disclosures" of varying types. But these are not "Disclosure." (p.67.)

They argue that " international UFO phenomenon needs a coordinated international cover-up." (p.67.) Using the analogy of international co-operation in the Echelon intelligence gathering system (click here); they propose a similar program of global UFO secrecy. Their conclusion is "Considering the obvious importance of the UFO phenomenon and the need for a secret infrastructure to deal with it, a detached analyst can assume that there are several UFO related black budget programs, and that some of the lost money has gone into funding them." (p.70.) They conclude that a clandestine group has advanced technology; know of the Others; and operate from secret bases.

Chapter three:

Essentially this chapter, titled "Endgame," boils down to the question "What will it take to create a condition where all the secret keepers can do is simply to get it over with?" (p.93.) The authors offer a list of nine possible "Trigger Events" with their most likely being "...a decision taken by the Others themselves." (p.94.) Each possibility is discussed.

"Threat Analysis":

Chapter four tackles the question of "Who ar they?"; "What do they want?"; and "Are we safe?" It takes a detailed look at various possible responses to each of these questions.

Tantilisng but anecdotal stories, provide some of the author's evidence for their main hypothesis namely the global cover-up group and the fact that Disclosure is inevitable. Here we find an account of a Dr Eric Walker (click here) and tales of recovered "machines" and "Four normal looking males were with it..." (p.147.) Evidence retireved by remote viewing also comes up at this point.


In chapter 5 speculation piles on speculation. The authors try and forcast the consequences of "Disclosure." "In the immediate aftermath, the world will go on red alert." (p.165.) Shops will close. Hoarding and looting will occur. "Sales of guns will be up at least 500 per cent from the previous year." (p.167.) 'There will be great fury directed at the governments of the world." (p.169.)

Chapter six:

This chapter opens with "Day One will unlease the same primal forces triggered by the assasination of President Kennedy  and the Vietnam War during the 1960's. Insecurity will rule..." (p.203.) This is followed by a discussion of a variety of circumstances for families; academia; political science; economics and popular culture. Again, speculation, of what might happen.

"Paradigm shift":

This chapter explores the possible reaction in terms of how humanity sees its place in the universe, after Disclosure. "Many anlysts have concluded that the announcement of intelligent life in the universe would destroy traditional religious faith." (p.236.)

The reaction of "Science" is explored, with questions asked such as "How did the Others manage to get here?" (p.245.) Pages 254-255 take a look at the sort of scientific questions which humanity still has to answer, which might be resolved if the Others co-operate with us.

Here we are also reminded that "As with all our examples, the claim is not that this particular chain of events will occur. Rather, by outlining one specific possibility, it is easier to understand the post-Disclosure dynamics that will be at work." (p.245.)

Exoploitics rising":

Chapter eight is a review of the roots of "Exopolitics" as written and talked about by such people as Alfred Webre (click here); Stephen Bassett (click here); Michael Salla (click here) and Steven Greer (click here.)

Here again, we find stories from unnamed 'insiders" such as "One inside source has told the authors of his "Professional knowledge" that Presidents Reagan and Bush (senior) were briefed on UFOs and extraterrestrials...' (p.277.) Another story involved a retired officer who relates how he interviewed a dying man about the man's observations of non-human bodies.

Final chapter:

The final chapter is  titled "Open letters." Here the authors directly address the "Keepers of the secret"; the Others and the readers of the book.

The first letter, to the "Keepers of the secret" in part, asks them "Do you really believe that only you have the right to know this information?" (p.306.) "Have you developed new technology that put humans on a better footing with the Others?" (p.308.)

To the Others their letter includes "The day will come when you are forced to deal with us in some manner more substantial, more mature, than you have hitherto." (p.310.)

To readers of the book, the authors say, among other things, "Now is the time to begin the transition from an Internet collected group of "conspiracy theorists" to a potent force of openness and honesty." (p.311.)


The book has 12 pages of source notes, and an index.


It is a pity that this book is so US focused, despite the authors putting forward that the hypothesised "Breakaway group" which keeps the secret, is global and not solely US, based.

I also tired of the "insider" accounts which continue the conspiracy approach so dominant in the US. There is a world outside the US, and various non-US governments have opened up their UFO files. It is not our fault that some US researchers feel that their government is keeping secrets. There are other approaches, such as the French Government's example through the current GEIPAN (click here.)

All in all, for me, the work was a disappointment. I feel it will appeal only to the same conspiracy theorists of which the authors write "Now is the time to begin the transition from an Internet collected group of "conspiracy theorists" to a potent force of openness and honesty." (p.311.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The former Australian Department of Supply and UAPs

Hi all,


During the course of Disclosure Australia Project research into the involvement of Australian government agencies, we looked at the former Department of Supply (DOS.)

This Department came into being on 17 Mar 1950. It was responsible, among other things for:

* the control of materials used in producing atomic energy (1950-1953)
* operation and management of space tracking stations (from 1959)
* participation in firing of European Launcher Development Organisation rockets at Woomera (from 1962)
* operation of the Joint United-Kingdom-Australia Weapons Research Project
* operation and management of space tracking stations and certain other facilities on behalf of the government of the USA.

Between 1950 and 1969 Melbourne was the location of the DOS Central Office, after which it moved to Canberra. The Department was abolished on 12 Jun 1974, and most of its functions passed to the Department of Manufacturing Industry.

UAP files:

A number of DOS UAP files were located by the DA Project. These were:

1. NAA file series D174 control symbol SA5281 titled "Unusual Occurrences Flying Saucer at Woomera." The file has a date range of 1952-1955. It belonged to the Long Range Weapons Establishment, South Australia. The 25 page file, documents a number of observations made at the Woomera test range.

2. NAA file series D250 control symbol 56/483 titled "Reports on unidentified aircraft, strange occurrences etc" with a date range of 1952-1968. The file originated with the Weapons Research Establishment, South Australia. The 139 page file contains numerous reports from Woomera about unidentified aircraft near the range, as well as observations of UAP.

3. NAA file series D174 control symbol SA 5644/2/1 titled "Sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects" with a date range of 1966-1974, registered to the Weapons Research Establishment, South Australia. This 114 page file contains a number of inquiries from members of the public and some observations of UAP at the Woomera range.

4. NAA file series A6456 control symbol R029/284 titled "Weapons Research Establishment (WRE) -Salisbury - Dept of Supply - Maralinga Project - General Policy and Administration." It is a 45 page file and contains 7 pages on a 1960 observation of an UAP.

5. NAA file series D250 control symbol 56/3568 Part 1 titled "Scientific, Technical and Astronomical Research Society." This 100 page file relates to the fact that between 1966 and 1968, there was a group of individuals at Woomera interested in the subject of UAP, who formed an organisation, STARS,  to look at the subject.

Central Office DOS files?

You will note that none of the above files is a DOS Central Office file. Was the DOS Central Office keeping track of UAP reports? The answer is yes, and we know this because:

1. According to a memo on file SA5644/2/1 dated 13 Dec 1967 there were two UAP reporting systems in place. Reports from the Woomera range were sent to the RAAF; while reports from locations outside Woomera went through the DOS Central Office, for transmission through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs to the US Embassy in Australia. This latter system was established in 1962 after the US had asked for observations which might be used in the identification of space vehicle fragments.

2. In addition, according to file SA5644/2/1, following a series of observations in 1967 by Woomera staff, there was an exchange of correspondence between the Deputy Secretary R & E, Supply, Melbourne and the WRE.

3. Scattered over the various files are references to DOS files Y123/3/12; Y111/12/1 part 4; Y121/1/1; Y123/3/17; YA26/9/2; Y10/5/1; A12/3/2; A12/3/3; 6/12/1; 5/110/Z; 6/121/1; 8/10/2; 5/126/5 and D5492/1/1. From the context these file references were used in, some appear to be DOS Central Office UAP files.


There are also indications that someone in the DOS Central Office, Canberra, was interested, in 1971,  in the subject. This is known because:

1. NAA file series A703 control symbol 554/1/30 part 2 pp 30-31.

There is a memo on the RAAF UAP policy file dated 27 Jul 1971 from the Directorate of Air Force Intelligence to S/AIR/SS - and includes the following. "You spoke to me recently on the matter of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and you mentioned that the Department of Supply may be interested in investigating this subject. This minute provides a brief historical sketch of this subject and my reaction to the proposal." There is nothing else on this file about this subject.

However, another file not released until much later, does add to the above information.

2. NAA file series JIO63 control symbol 3092/2/000 titled "Scientific Intelligence - General - Unidentified Flying Objects" was a file with a date range 1957 to 1971, held by the Joint Intelligence Organisation, Department of Defence.

In a memo dated 27 May 1971, from JIO Director R W Furlonger to Deputy Secretary B, we read in part:

"The Department of Supply  has personnel with an appropriate range of scientific and technical expertise and laboratory and field facilities that could suitably be employed on UFO investigations.

I suggest that Department of Defence should consider passing responsibility for investigation of Australian UFO sightings from the RAAF to the Department of Supply..."

No other documents have yet surfaced to clarify what, if any, further discussions occurred between the Department of Defence and the DOS. In addition, the only DOS Central Office individual named on any files I looked at, is a "Morrison." A search to locate further information on Morrison has been unsuccessful. If any blog reader has additional information on Morrison it would be appreciated.

A DOS link to Westall?

Do we have any sources which indicate that the DOS was more deeply involved in research into UAP than suggested by the material outlined so far in this post? Indeed we do.

At the May 2012 AURA seminar held in Adelaide, Canberra researcher Shane Ryan presented a large volume of material about the 6 Apr 1966 Westall High School case. One area of the presentation was "A summary of the Local, State and Federal government agencies' responses to the Westall incident."

One of the agencies listed was the Department of Supply. Shane's slide included the information "Assistant Controller of Aircraft, Weapons and Guided Missiles involvement at Westall, and his department's response. Information supplied by man's children."

A keyword search, by me,  of the text of all the known publicly available documentation on Westall, reveals no mention of the DOS. No one at the time of the event, or for years later, suggested the involvement of the DOS.

So, there is a suggestion out there that the DOS was involved somehow in the Westall "flying saucer" incident. However, the sole source of the suggestion of DOS involvement in Westall, comes through Shane's source, stated at the AURA seminar, namely the children of the Assistant Controller of Aircraft, Weapons and Guided Missiles, DOS. It would be nice to be able to locate some independent line of evidence that this was so. I would welcome any information from blog readers which could point us in the direction of any independent confirmation that the DOS was definitely involved in the Westall event.


My review of DOS files has also thrown some light on the subject of an earlier blog post. On 29 Feb 2012 I mentioned that "James E McDonald wrote to Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society member , Paul Norman, on the eve of McDonald's trip to regard to some intriguing sightings, involving staff at scientific facilities in Woomera..." McDonald's Australian trip commenced on 25 Jun 1967. In the post I wondered what Woomera sightings, around Jun 1967 were being referred to, and failed to come to any firm conclusion. However, I believe I now know the answer.

You will recall, that earlier in this post, I mentioned the STARS group of scientific personnel based at Woomera who started up a UAP group. According to NAA file series D250 control symbol 56/3568 part 1, an Apr 1966 memo from Colonel J D Honeysett, STARS was " be associated with ...Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society." This link between Woomera scientific staff and VFSRS could explain how McDonald knew of sightings "at scientific facilities at Woomera."

Were there any significant sightings just prior to Jun 1967 at Woomera? Indeed, there were.

NAA file series D174 control symbol SA5644/2/1 gives details about a series of observations made on 28 Apr 1967 during a Skylark rocket launch. Multiple observations by experienced tracking staff were made, of a dull white, saucer shaped object. Members of STARS documented the sightings which were also a source of discussions between WRE Adelaide and Central Office, DOS in subsequent weeks.

It therefore seems highly likely to me, that these were the sightings of which McDonald was aware.

In summary:

Areas of the former Department of Supply, as did many other government bodies, kept files on UAP. Whether this had any deeper meaning is difficult to ascertain based on the information to hand.

Can any readers, perhaps former employees of the Department of Supply, provide any additional information?

Project Galileo

Project Galileo Or to give it its full name, "The Galileo project for the Systematic Scientific Search for Evidence of Extraterrestrial...